Presentation: IPU Seminar on Youth Democratic Participation

London, UK - December 8-9, 2010 
The UK branch of the Inter-Parliamentary Union hosted a two-day conference on youth democratic engagement, and invited me to speak about the ways in which the Internet can be used to promote youth participation. Held at the UK Parliament, entrance to the conference was threatened on the second day due to masses of young people protesting tuition hikes – a striking (and hilariously ironic) reminder that even the least engaged segments of the population are passionate about the work of decision-makers, so long as the decisions they make affect their quality of life.
The basic argument of my presentation: the Internet is not a panacea for young people’s withdrawal from formal politics, but there remains potential to use the web to reach out to youth. Given that the audience was mostly MPs and parliamentary staff, I focused on a few practical rules of thumb that research on young people’s use of the Internet suggests institutions should follow when attempting to engage young people online.
I also wrote a short article for the IPU Review as a follow up to the presentation. You can find the article here, on pages 21-22.

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